Good morning, and welcome to my October 2022 Chief Executive’s blog.
This month, we’ll be focusing on the yearly rent increase and our plans for the next one, which will take place in April 2023.
Rent generally goes up in line with inflation as it’s expected that wages and benefits will increase at the same time to cover it. However, as you will know from the news and your own everyday experience, we’re currently in a very difficult economic situation. Inflation is at its highest in 40 years; food, fuel and other necessities have gone up in price; and, despite intervention from the Government, this winter, we will be paying at least double what we did last year for the gas and electricity we use.
With these extra costs in mind, the Government has launched a consultation on restricting how much rent can be increased in April 2023. There are three options for the increase: 3%, 5% or 7%.
The consultation closes on the 12th October.
Read the proposal here.
We’re busy preparing our own response to the consultation, and we would like to include any comments we receive from our tenants. If you’d like to have your say, please email your comments to email@example.com.
This is a really important issue for Southway. The last thing we want to do is cause our tenants any hardship, and it’s unlikely that we would have imposed a rent increase that was linked to inflation in April anyway. However, the rent we receive is our main source of income and it’s what we use to provide housing and services to our tenants and communities. These include:
- A Repairs Service that delivers thousands of repairs every year and is currently working hard to clear the backlog of jobs, whilst we tackle rising costs and huge labour shortages in construction.
- A 10-year Development Programme (2016-2026) to build over 1000 new homes, addressing the housing shortage that affects so many people in Manchester.
- Over £1 million of Community Investment per year to help our tenants and residents find work, training and volunteering opportunities as well as support with fuel costs, food and accessing benefits.
None of this is possible without your rent payments and we have ambitions to improve and expand the services we provide, rather than cut them back.
The outcome of the consultation is expected before Christmas when the Government will decide what the rent cap will be. Whatever the outcome, I can assure you that, here at Southway, we will continue to work as hard as we can to provide our tenants and communities with quality homes and services that offer value for money and help achieve our vision of thriving communities.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, ideas on how we can support you or thoughts on how we can offer better value from a service we provide, I would love to hear from you.
You can reach me by filling in the form below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.